FEBRUARY 24, 2021

At Ovation, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the link below to view our travel resources guide which includes traveler health & safety information, interactive risk maps, client communications, travel management best practices, webinar recordings and more regarding COVID-19.

Major US airlines have said they would adopt a voluntary international contact tracing program, reports Reuters. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and other major airlines said they had committed to collecting contact tracing data from travelers entering the United States and to relaying that data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if travelers provide information. Major airlines and administration officials had held talks for months over a long-standing CDC effort to mandate the collection and reporting of tracing information from international travelers.

American Airlines has announced that it has started to align its baggage allowance policies to offer travelers a more consistent and transparent booking experience. Premium Economy tickets will now include two free checked bags on all routes where American provides the enhanced travel experience. Main Cabin tickets on all long-haul international routes will include one free checked bag. American is also introducing a new Basic Economy offering for flights to Asia, Oceania, India and Israel. The carrier will be the first airline to offer travelers a Basic Economy Plus Bag ticket in this market, which provides a non-changeable fare with a free checked bag.

Delta Air Lines has announced that it is introducing new in-home PCR testing options from third-party testing providers for purchase that can conveniently and accurately offer test results. Travelers can also use the airline’s interactive travel requirements tool to safely plan travel by listing COVID-19 test requirements, quarantine restrictions, additional paperwork needed and other local government information. “We are building an experience that offers flexibility and control for customers, even as their needs change,” Delta Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch said. “These new testing options will ensure that every customer has the information they need to choose the test that is right for them.”

United Airlines has announced plans to expand its global route network with new, nonstop service between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and London Heathrow (LHR). United plans to operate its premium Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the route, with 46 United Polaris Business Class and 22 United Premium Plus seats. The aircraft features the highest proportion of premium seats on any widebody aircraft operated by a US carrier between London and the US. "We are thrilled to offer travelers a convenient, non-stop option between Boston and London with this addition to our global network," said Patrick Quayle, United's vice president of International Network and Alliances. "We will continue to monitor the demand recovery and travel restrictions as we finalize a start date for this service later in 2021." Tickets will be available for purchase in the coming weeks.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it will have its digital COVID-19 Travel Pass ready "within weeks,” and believes that the Travel Pass will reestablish international travel more quickly, reports Travel Pulse. The digital pass will be an app to be downloaded on a smartphone and will verify that a traveler has had either a negative COVID-19 test or been vaccinated against the virus. It also verifies they were administered by an approved authority. "The key issue is one of confidence. Passengers need to be confident that the testing they've taken is accurate and will allow them to enter the country." said Vinoop Goel, IATA’s regional director of airports and external relations. "And then governments need to have the confidence that the tests that the passengers claim to have is one which is accurate and meets their own conditions." The app will be available on iOS and Android platforms and is expected to be free. Singapore Airlines was the first airline to start trials of the travel pass in December, with Air New Zealand, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways among the other airlines currently conducting trials.
Recently named as the Best Hotel & Resort in Newport Beach by US News & World Report, Balboa Bay Resort is Newport Beach’s only Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond waterfront resort. Located just 2.5 miles from the Newport Beach’s business hub at Newport Center drive, the hotel has the perfect location for guests seeking extraordinary accommodations and service combined with convenience for business travelers. Amenities include a pool with cabanas, waterfront dining at A&O Kitchen + Bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness studio, water sport rentals and access to abundant local restaurants and shopping. John Wayne Airport (SNA: 6 miles), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX: 47 miles) and Long Beach Airport (LGB: 25 miles) are easily accessible and convenient.
Fairmont Austin, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property, offers luxury in downtown Austin accommodations. The 37-story luxury hotel features 1,048 richly appointed guest rooms and suites, including Fairmont Gold rooms. Elegantly appointed Fairmont Gold guest rooms, located on the 32nd through 35th floors, feature private check-in and lounge with knowledgeable concierge. The Fairmont Gold Lounge provides complimentary culinary offerings served in the privacy of the lounge, including deluxe breakfast, canapés and evening desserts. These spacious guest rooms feature one king or two queen beds with luxurious pillow top mattresses and French style duvets. Comfortably designed to accommodate business guests, Fairmont Gold rooms boast bedside charging hubs and reading lamps as well as a work desk with upgraded technologies. Guests will enjoy lavish bathrooms with plush bathrobes, Le Labo toiletries and a stylish barn door providing a private water closet.
The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park offers sophisticated, modern luxury in the heart of downtown Chicago. Overlooking Lake Michigan, Grant and Millennium Parks and the legendary skyline, the Fairmont Chicago is the perfect backdrop for an urban escape. The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park boasts some of the city’s most spacious and impeccably appointed guest rooms. This hotel features 687 guest rooms and suites, including hypoallergenic, allergy-friendly Fairmont PURE rooms.
Welcome to Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, where there is a decidedly different approach to Southern traditions. As gracious hosts in an evolving city, the hotel invites travelers to take part in the culture of the New South in Uptown Charlotte, where the buzzing energy of a major city blends with hospitality. Guests can rest on luxe linens among soothing shades of gray and blue, preparing to take on another day in this flourishing southern hub.
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